Millionaire car dealer sues after $1.35m yacht fails
A millionaire Queensland car dealer and his wife have sued their motor-yacht mechanic for more than $300,000 claiming incompetence and negligence led to the failure of the engine of their $1.35m yacht.
Warren von Bibra and his wife Sally, who live on millionaire's row of Hedges Ave in Mermaid Beach, sued Onboard Engineering Pty Ltd (OE), based in Taren Point in Sydney's south, in the District Court in Brisbane on May 8.
The couple claim the starboard engine of their 21-metre Princess motor cruiser "The Von B" failed catastrophically in April 2017, due to the negligence OE mechanic Shannan Day.
The couple, who also keep another motor yacht moored in Antibes in the south of France, claim that Mr Day cracked "the right idler gear" while installing a new water pump months earlier.
They are claiming total damages of $309,413 for breach of contract, or damages for negligence, or breach of warranty.
They claim they were required to completely remove and repair the starboard engine at a cost of $246,347, they also claim $40,020 damages because they were "deprived of the use of" the boat between April and November 2017.
On June 6, OE filed a conditional notice of intention to defend the suit.
OE asked the court to have the case stayed and referred to arbitration, arguing the Von Bibra's have filed the case "in the wrong forum".
OE states the terms and conditions of its customer contract states disputes are heard by an arbitrator.
OE's lawyers state in court documents the Von Bibra's have the onus of proving the "catastrophic failure" of the engine was caused by OE's negligence.
The couple's business, the von Bibra Group, has dealerships on four locations on the Gold Coast selling 10 car brands.
The case returns to court on July 17.